Thursday, December 19, 2013
Writing Wibbles: Looking Back
It was a grueling year, production-wise. I started the year with a lot of stories completed or nearly completed, and ended up launching seven titles. That doesn’t count the books I edited or proofread for the co-op. The pace forced me to examine how I did things after the editor sent back those last changes, and I did manage to streamline a lot of the processes. Part of that was making checklists, so I didn’t forget something important.
That was the supply, what about demand?
In a nutshell: I was blessed. I didn’t make nearly enough to quit my day job, let alone rack up sales like Amanda Hocking or Hugh Howey, but I did a lot better than others. I haven’t dug up exact numbers for how many books sold (let alone how many of each), but most of the books sold were 99¢ each, giving me a royalty of 35¢ give or take. I have a reasonable handle on income and expenses. Being in a co-op, where we all help each other out, I didn’t have production-related expenses like editing or cover design (but I paid by editing and formatting other books). There were other expenses… so, here’s the round numbers:
Promotional expenses (giveways): ($150)
Nook HD (for verifying EPUBs): ($180)
So while I didn’t pay off the mortgage or anything (rats), I was able to afford a badly-needed replacement for my ailing Civic, which died about a month after I came home with the Miata. Writing made a difference for me this year, an important difference, both financially and emotionally.
And for that, I’m grateful. With any luck, it will make more of a difference next year. I don’t plan to have such an aggressive release schedule, but maybe I’ll have more time for promotion and for rolling out paperbacks. That’s going to be interesting, especially once I automate the conversion from EPUB to typesetting markup. Stay tuned…